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Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Light of Chanukah

By On December 25, 2016
A candle is a brief flare of light. A wick dipped in oil burns and then goes out again. The light of Chanukah appears to follow the same narrative. Briefly there is light and warmth and then darkness again.

Out of the exile of Babylon, the handful that returned to resettle and rebuild the land faced the might of new empires. The Jews who returned from the exile of one evil empire some twenty-six hundred years ago were forced to decide whether they would be a people with their own faith and history, or the colony of another empire, with its history and beliefs.

Jerusalem's wealthy elites threw in their lot with the empire and its ways. But out in the rural heartland where the old ways where still kept, a spark flared to life. Modi'in. Maccabee.

And so war came between the handfuls of Jewish Maccabee partisans and the armies of Antiochus IV’s Selecuid empire. A war that had its echoes in the past and would have it again in the future as lightly armed and untrained armies of Jewish soldiers would go on to fight in those same hills and valleys against the Romans and eventually the armies of six Arab nations.

The Syrian Greek armies were among the best of their day. The Maccabees were living in the backwaters of Israel, a nation that had not been independently ruled since the armies of Babylon had flooded across the land, destroying everything in their path.

In the wilderness of Judea a band of brothers vowed that they would bow to no man and let no foreigners rule over their land. Apollonius brought his Samaritan forces against the brothers, and Judah, first among the Macabees, killed him, took his sword and wore it for his own.

Seron, General of the army of Coele-Syria, brought together his soldiers, along with renegade Jewish mercenaries, and was broken at Beit Haran. The Governor of Syria dispatched two generals, Nicanor, and Gorgias, with forty thousand soldiers and seven thousand horsemen to conquer Judea, destroy Jerusalem and abolish the whole Jewish nation forever. So certain were they of victory that they brought with them merchant caravans to fill with the Hebrew slaves of a destroyed nation.

Judah walked among his brothers and fellow rebels and spoke to them of the thing for which they fought; “O my fellow soldiers, no other time remains more opportune than the present for courage and contempt of dangers; for if you now fight manfully, you may recover your liberty, which, as it is a thing of itself agreeable to all men, so it proves to be to us much more desirable, by its affording us the liberty of worshiping God.

"Since therefore you are in such circumstances at present, you must either recover that liberty, and so regain a happy and blessed way of living, which is that according to our laws, and the customs of our country, or to submit to the most opprobrious sufferings; nor will any seed of your nation remain if you be beat in this battle. Fight therefore manfully; and suppose that you must die, though you do not fight; but believe, that besides such glorious rewards as those of the liberty of your country, of your laws, of your religion, you shall then obtain everlasting glory.

"Prepare yourselves, therefore, and put yourselves into such an agreeable posture, that you may be ready to fight with the enemy as soon as it is day tomorrow morning."

Though the Macabees were but three thousand, starving and dressed in bare rags, the God for whom they fought and their native wits and courage, gave them victory over thousands and tens of thousands. Worn from battle, the Macabees did not flee back into their Judean wilderness, instead they went on to Jerusalem and its Temple, to reclaim their land and their God, only to find the Temple and the capital in ruins.

The Macabees had fought courageously for the freedom to worship God once again as their fathers had, but courage alone could not make the Menorah burn and thus renew the Temple service again. Yet it had not been mere berserker’s courage that had brought them this far. Like their ancestors before them who had leaped into furnaces and the raging sea, they had dared the impossible on faith. Faith in a God who watched over his nation and intervened in the affairs of men. And so on faith they poured the oil of that single flask in the Menorah, oil that could only last for a single day. And then having done all they could, the priests and sons of priests who had fought through entire armies to reach this place, accepted that they had done all they could and left the remainder in the hands of the Almighty.

If they had won by the strength of their hands alone, then the lamps would burn for a day and then flicker out. But if it had been more than mere force of arms that had brought them here, if it had been more than mere happenstance that a small band of ragged and starving rebels had shattered the armies of an empire, then the flames of the Menorah would burn on.

The sun rose and set again. The day came to its end and the men watched the lights of the Menorah to see if they would burn or die out. And if the flame in their hearts could have kindled the lamps, they would have burst into bright flame then and there. Darkness fell that night and still the lamps burned on.

For eight days and nights the Menorah burned on that single lonely pure flask of oil, until more could be found, and the men who for a time had been soldiers and had once again become priests, saw that while it may be men who kindle lamps and hearts, it is the Almighty who provides them with the fuel of the spirit through which they burn.

120 years after the Maccabees drove out the foreign invaders and their collaborators, another foreign invader, Herod, the son of Rome's Arab governor, was placed on the throne by the Roman Empire, disposing of the last of the Maccabean kings and ending the brief revival of the Jewish kingdom.

The revived kingdom had been a plaything in the game of empires. Exiled by Babylon, restored by Persia, conquered by the Greeks, ground under the heel of the remnants of Alexander's empire, briefly liberated by the Parthians, tricked into servitude and destroyed by Rome. The victory of the Maccabean brothers in reclaiming Jerusalem was a brief flare of light in the dark centuries and even that light was shadowed by the growing darkness.

The fall of the Roman Republic and the civil wars of the new empire, its uncontrollable spending and greed made it hopelessly corrupt. Caesar repaid Jewish loyalty by rewarding the Arab-Idumean murderers of Jewish kings, and his successors saw the Jewish state as a way to bring in some quick money. Out went the Jewish kings, in came the son of Rome's tax collector, Herod.

The promises made by Senate to the Maccabees ceased to matter. Imperial greed collided with Jewish nationalism in a war that for a brief shining moment seemed as if it might end in another Chanukah, but ended instead in massacre and atrocity. The exiles went forth once again, some on foot and some in slave ships. Israel became Palestine. Jerusalem was renamed and resettled. The long night had begun.

But no darkness lasts forever.

Two thousand years after the Jews had come to believe that wars were for other people and miracles meant escaping alive, Jewish armies stood and held the line against an empire and the would be empires of the region.

And now the flame still burns, though it is flickering. Sixty-eight years is a long time for oil to burn, especially when the black oil next door seems so much more useful to the empires and republics across the sea. And the children of many of those who first lit the flame no longer see the point in that hoary old light.

But that old light is still the light of possibilities. It burns to remind us of the extraordinary things that our ancestors did and of the extraordinary assistance that they received. We cannot always expect oil to burn for eight days, just as we cannot always expect the bullet to miss or the rocket to fall short. And yet even in those moments of darkness the reminder of the flame is with us for no darkness lasts forever and no exile, whether of the body of the spirit, endures. Sooner or later the spark flares to life again and the oil burns again. Sooner or later the light returns.

It is the miracle that we commemorate because it is a reminder of possibilities. Each time we light a candle or dip a wick in oil, we release a flare of light from the darkness comes to remind us of what was, is and can still be.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Fake Hijab Hate Crimes Witch Hunt

By On December 21, 2016
They struck at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Two white males ran out of a car, tore off her hijab, hit her and stole her wallet. One of these mysterious muggers was wearing a Trump hat.

The president of the Muslim Students Association claimed that the attack had rattled the campus. The ACLU was “outraged” and was as eager as the “victim” to connect the attack to Trump. It was even more outraged that the imaginary attackers had, “shouted slurs and wore Donald Trump clothing.”

It was only hours after the election and the media eagerly jumped on the story. But the 18-year-old Middle Eastern student had made it all up and police charged her with filing a false report.

A month later they stuck again. Yasmin Seweid, an 18-year-old Baruch College student in New York City, claimed that “three white racists” tried to tear off her hijab, shouted Trump’s name, along with, "Look it's a fucking terrorist", "go back to your country" and "take that rag off your head".

“The president-elect just promotes this stuff and is very anti-Muslim, very Islamophobic, and he’s just condoning it,” she whined. CAIR got into the game. A hate crimes investigation was launched.

And the NYPD found that she had made it all up. Yasmin now faces charges for her deception. But her lies potentially endangered the “brown-eyed and brown-haired” man whom police had begun to suspect. A man who might have been arrested and charged for a crime that never happened. What caused two 18-year-old Muslim women 1,400 miles apart to invent the same very specific attack?

On yet another November, a year before the nameless Muslim in Louisiana faked her hate crime, an 18-year-old Muslim woman in the UK claimed that she had been assaulted because of her hijab. The supposed victim, a Miss Choudhury, turned out to be a liar and was fined for wasting police time.

Despite their geographical separation the three cases have a great deal in common. All three of the perpetrators were 18-year-old Muslim women. All associated the fake attacks with their wearing of the hijab. And their lies were calculated to exploit recent events, the Muslim terror attacks in Paris and Trump’s election, which the media had played up as being traumatic to Muslims.

The rash of hijab attacks after Trump’s election was an especially extraordinary phenomenon.

At nearly the same time as the Louisiana Muslim hoax, a Muslim student at San Diego State University claimed that her attackers ripped off her hijab and invoked the dreaded name of Trump before stealing her purse and backpack. Like the UK hoaxer, one of her attackers was wearing a gray hoodie. The perps, a white and Latino man, who love Trump and hate Muslims, have apparently yet to be found.

Meanwhile at the University of New Mexico, a Muslim freshman, likely the same age as the other claimants, charged that a man in a Trump shirt had tried to tear off her hijab and accused her of being a terrorist. She insisted however that she did not want him to be charged for his attack and UNM’s Office of Equal Opportunity refused to confirm or deny the existence of the case.

Some versions of the post-Trump hijab attack escalated the real or threatened violence.

A day or so later, a University of Michigan student claimed that she was forced to remove her hijab by a drunk white man who threatened to set her on fire. Police determined that it was a hoax.

Nasro Hassan, an 18-year-old Muslim student at the University of Washington, claimed that a man in a black hoodie attacked her with a bottle likely because of her hijab. Esra Altun, a 19-year-old Muslim student at San Jose State University, claimed that she was choked with her hijab a day after Trump's win. Her alleged attacker was a "fair-skinned male" wearing a "dark-colored hoodie".

The attack was initially reported to have happened on Election Day, but Altun insisted that it really took place on the next day after Trump had officially won. “It is a weird coincidence that it happened after Donald Trump was elected.” Like so many of these cases, it was important to link the attack to Trump.

It certainly is a weird coincidence that a rash of these attacks by white men on Muslim women happened right then. Or that these attackers, when they aren’t wearing Trump hats and shirts on college campuses where that alone is nearly enough to trigger a hate crime investigation, favor the hoodie.

The stories follow a similar pattern. A burst of media coverage, a campus rally by activists from the local Muslim Students Association, followed by a fearful condemnation from the university president.

But then the stories die down and fade away. There is no big climax. Just dead air.

The women at the center of these stories are college freshmen and sophomores getting their first taste of campus life. They are away from their families, perhaps for the first time in their lives, in a different environment and tempted to relax their religiosity. And then the hijab-haters strike allowing them to show off their religiosity, to impress their families, and their victimhood, to wow their progressive peers. They often tell their stories on social media and urge their friends to pass their tales along.

“Trump America is real and I witnessed it first hand last night!” Yasmin Seweid, the woman at the center of the latest hijab hoax, posted on Facebook. “I want to show people this is real,” the University of Mexico Muslim claimed. There are loud assertions of Muslim patriotism and condemnations of hate.

But what is the truth?

Did a coordinated gang of Trump marauders suddenly assail a single Muslim woman one campus at a time across the country? Or was there an outbreak of hysteria fed by Islamist agendas and media noise?

It is curious that so many of the incidents occurred on campuses, where many Muslim teenagers dip their toes into political activism for the first time, and that so many of the supposed victims are teenagers who haven’t even reached their twenties. Are there really gangs of Trump supporters targeting 18-year old Muslim women on college campuses? Or is something else going on.

In Salem, the popular wisdom that witchcraft was a threat opened the door for teenage girls to offer up hysterical accusations. The accusations led to a mass hysteria of other accusers, collective panic and political persecution. Similar “witch hunts” have haunted us before. The Islamophobia witch hunt is only the latest manifestation of an obsession with an imaginary crisis exploding into mass hysteria.

There is no way to know which of the unsolved cases is true. But mass hysteria is the dangerous symptom of a deeper conflict. And those who promote it ought to contemplate the consequences.

The obsession with an imaginary Islamophobia crisis has been called a witch hunt before. But the hijab hate crimes hysteria eerily resembles the mass hysteria of Salem with teenage girls, some of whom like Yasmin are clearly emotionally unstable, coming forward to tell fantastic psychosexual stories of being attacked for their hijabs by Trump supporters, and then being lavished with attention and praise.

The tales of roving Trump gangs tearing off the hijabs of Muslim teenage girls caters to the parochial xenophobia of Muslims convinced that their daughters are at risk of being dishonored by Americans, to the Islamist agendas of CAIR and the MSA who use victimhood to build a political empire of theocracy, and to the media which is desperate to attribute racist violence to Trump any way that it can.

The hijab witch hunts are as twisted as anything in Salem. And just as malignant and dangerous.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Obama Plans to Rule America Outside the White House

By On December 16, 2016
Barack Obama has two faces. After Trump’s victory and Hillary’s defeat, the public Obama has been gracious and diplomatic. His lectures to Trump, directly and indirectly, are couched in praise. He echoed the feeling of millions on both sides when he said, "We are now all rooting for his success”.

That’s a lie. Or rather a disguise.

Obama and his aides had, in one insider narrative, decided to don the “mask of decorum”. The contempt for Trump still seeps through the mask. And the mask hides Obama’s next big move.

President Obama is over. He knows that. There are still some things that he can do before he leaves office, but everything except the most destructive, can be undone by his successor. The next phase of his campaign will not be fought from the White House. It will be fought against the White House .

The other Obama is emerging in conference calls with his supporters. “One of the challenges that I’ve discovered being president is I’d like to be organizer-in-chief, but it’s hard,” he said in one call.

Obama can no longer be commander-in-chief. Instead he’s plotting to become organizer-in-chief.

The infrastructure for the organization was put into place long before anyone thought that Hillary might lose. Organizing for Action gave him his own organizing hub. If Hillary had won, it would have been a pressure group. Now that Trump won, it’s an axis to build a personal counterrevolution around.

In his post-election conference call with his OFA troops, Obama told them, “I’m giving you like a week and a half to get over it”. Then it would be time to “move forward not only to protect what we’ve accomplished, but also to see this as an opportunity”. What opportunity could there be in Trump’s win?

Obama is now the only major national figure still standing among the Democrats. After Hillary’s defeat, he’s worked hard to attribute the loss to her shortcomings, not his policies and decisions. That’s not just to soothe his ego. If he’s going to dictate the future of his party, he can’t afford to be blamed for its latest disaster. And Obama is still determined to dictate the future of the party and the country.

In conventional politics, Obama is done. There’s no way back into the White House. And Hillary’s fate won’t leave much enthusiasm for nominating the uncharismatic spouse of a charismatic ex-president.

But Obama is not a conventional politician. He’s an organizer and a campaigner at the vanguard of a radical movement that seeks to control traditional institutions, but doesn’t feel bound by them. Unlike Bill Clinton, his plans don’t begin and end with the White House. As an organizer, Obama is equipped to build bases of power outside traditional institutions. And that is exactly what he is doing.

The demoralization of the Democrats is, as Obama put it, an opportunity. Social chaos is a time for the left to overthrow and undermine traditional institutions. Fear, anger and despair are radicalizing. The left has always operated by throwing bombs and then profiting from the fallout. That’s Obama’s agenda. Having wrecked the country and the Democrats, he sees that not as a setback, but as an opportunity.

“The network that you represent, you're perfectly poised to do that,” Obama told his OFAers. “In other words, now is the time for some organizing.”

While the leftist rioters in the streets are garnering the most attention, the real threat comes from the network of staffers dubbed Obama Anonymous which are beginning to organize and coordinate. OFA is Obama’s equivalent of the Clinton Foundation. The Clintons built Clintonworld around staffers, but its goal was harvesting money. Obama Inc. is being built around organizing and activism. Like Clintonworld, it will be a network encompassing a variety of political and non-profit institutions. Unlike them, it will be much less focused on directing money to its bosses in preparation for an election. Instead it will function like a traditional leftist movement, merging influence operations with crowdsourced mobilization.

OFA will be far more dangerous in the wild than the Clinton Foundation ever was. The Clintons hoped to ride back to power on a giant wave of money. Obama is taking a much more radical course.

The staffers exiting government are being wired into Obama Inc. whether or not they take jobs directly working for him. The OFA alumni are building networks across organizations while taking their marching orders from him. They expect Obama to lead them back from the wilderness and into the halls of power.

He’s told them so.

“I'm going to be constrained in what I do with all of you until I am again a private citizen. But that's not so far off,” he assured them. “I'm still fired up and I'm still ready to go.” His next comments promised that radical political change could and would take place.

Obama isn’t going to retire. He’s not going to spend years puttering around with a presidential library. He’s not even going to set up a Clintonesque slush fund and try to make his wife president. Instead he wants to force radical change from outside the White House by using the network he’s built.

While the public Obama wraps up business at the White House, concludes yet another world tour, alternating between praising Trump and offering him condescending advice, the other Obama is preparing to deploy a network that will dominate the Dems and set the agenda on the left.

If Obama succeeds, then he will get another shot at picking his White House successor. But beyond that, he’s been handed the keys to an organizing machine that will allow him to set even more of the agenda for his party than ever before. And he has a cause that is sending the party reeling back into his arms.

Obama believes that he can rule America from outside the White House. And he might be right.

Political norms and old rules have been falling faster than leaves in an autumn wind. If Obama sets out to move the center of power outside the White House and into an organization that will control national politics through the left, it would be dangerous to assume that he can’t and won’t succeed.

The Democrats didn’t respond to their defeat, one of a sequence, by trying to move to the center. Instead there is every sign that they are moving further to the left. Keith Ellison, a radical leftist with an anti-Semitic past, is tipped to head the DNC. Schumer still has the Senate, but Elizabeth Warren may have it before too long. Combine that with Obama as the president-in-exile and the Dems will be more radical and extremist than they were even when Obama was sitting in the White House.

The Democrats are ceasing to be a national party. Instead they are becoming a nationalizing party. They are losing their presence in much of the country, from state legislature to state legislature, and becoming the party of major cities and the national government. Their agenda is to move power from local areas to central ones, from the villages and the suburbs to the cities, from states to D.C. and from locally elected legislators in D.C. to the satellite bureaucracies of the Federal government.

Obama sees Hillary’s defeat as an opportunity to burn the Dem’s last bridges with the larger country and its “bitter clingers”, to double down on nationalizing power and to define the political narrative around the agendas of urban elites. The left crippled the Democrats. Now it wants to utterly consume them.

Barack Obama is still being vague and coy about his plans. He informs reporters that he will attack Trump when it comes to "core questions about our values and ideals". But the “faithful” are getting much clearer signals. “You’re going to see me early next year, and we’re going to be in a position where we can start cooking up all kinds of great stuff to do.”

The election was a catastrophic disaster for the Democrats, but it opened all sorts of doors for Obama.

Hillary’s defeat removes the Clintons, his only real internal rivals, off the stage. Trump’s triumph in working class areas cuts more ties with the traditional Dem base and transforms it into a party of left-wing urban elites and their radical agendas. And the popular figures on the left, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Keith Ellison, lack his national stature, speaking skills and organization.

Obama will move to consolidate the left. And then the Democrats. He will function as a president-in-exile heading up the opposition to Trump. When it comes to verbally challenging Trump, Obama will be more likely to be interviewed and heard than Ellison or Schumer. And his people will coordinate responses across the left from street level organizing to think tanks and policy moves.

Some of it is ego.

Obama believes that he can find the key to beating Trump in the traditional tactics of the left. But most is ideology and power. Obama is not done transforming America. And America isn’t done with him yet.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Trump or Hamas

By On December 12, 2016
The Islamic Society of North America was named by the Justice Department as an unindicted co-conspirator in funding Hamas. It was linked to two Hamas funding fronts, the Holy Land Foundation and KindHearts. ISNA’s checks were made payable to the “Palestinian Mujahadeen” or “Holy Warriors” which was a name used by Hamas.

ISNA’s co-founder Sami Al-Arian was the local head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Mousa Abu Marzook, a top Hamas official listed by the Treasury Department as a Specially Designated Terrorist, received tens of thousands of dollars from ISNA.

This should have come as no surprise as both ISNA and Hamas are arms of the Muslim Brotherhood.

But the American Jewish Committee has decided to team up with the financiers of the murder of Jews to oppose Trump. The left wing Jewish group and an Islamist organization that wrote out checks to Islamic terrorists enabling them to kill Jews have formed the “Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council”.

Statements from both ISNA and the AJC made it clear that this was a reaction to Trump’s win.

"We are uniting to help the administration navigate in the proper constitutional manner, to uphold freedom of religion and constitutional rights for all American citizens,” Eftakhar Alam of ISNA said.

“It is a reaction to some of the bigotry and hate speech that came out of the campaign,” Robert Silverman, the AJC's director of Muslim-Jewish relations said. “We’re concerned about the public discourse in the whole country. We’re also concerned about messages that originated within the two communities. The Trump phenomenon is only going to make it come together more quickly.”

The love affair that birthed the Wolf-Sheep Advisory Council is mostly unrequited. While the AJC loudly trumpets its new friendship, as of this writing ISNA has yet to inform its brethren of the alliance with the sons of apes and pigs in its news section. ISNA’s list of interfaith partners doesn’t even mention the AJC.

But appeasing those who hate you wins more enthusiasm from the appeasers than the appeased.

Farooq Kathwari, the Muslim co-chair of the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council, had his name on a report by the American Muslim Task Force which defended Muslim donations to Islamic terrorist groups including Hezbollah. “It was difficult for Muslim Americans… to ease the plight of Lebanese civilians without risking scrutiny by the U.S. government for aiding organizations connected with Hezbollah,” the report complained.

The Muslim council members include ISNA’s Imam Mohamed Magid who gave a diversity award to a CAIR official who had declared that Jews had incurred the wrath of Allah. Magid had called for an end to Israel’s blockade of Hamas in Gaza and the ISNA statement it was appended to had decried that Islamic terrorists had not been consulted in ceasefire negotiations.

Also on the Council is ISNA’s Sayyid Syeed who had declared, "Our job is to change the Constitution of America". He had formerly headed up the Muslim Students Association and worked in a senior position at the International Institute of Islamic Thought, another unindicted co-conspirator in funding Hamas whose ranks included a number of Islamic terrorists fighting against Israel.

But it’s more interesting to note who in ISNA’s leadership isn’t on the Council.

There’s Iqbal Unus whose home had been raided in connection with an investigation into Hamas and Islamic Jihad funding. There’s also the co-founder of ISNA, Muzammil Siddiqi, who hosted and translated a speech by the infamous Blind Sheikh, linked to the World Trade Center bombing, in which he declared, "If you are not going to the jihad, then you are neglecting the rules of Allah.”

Siddiqi predicted the Islamic conquest and destruction of Israel. “In a few years we will be celebrating with each other the victory of Islam in Palestine. Insh'allah, we shall be celebrating the coming of the Masjid al-Aqsa under the Islamic rule. We shall be celebrating insh'allah the coming of Jerusalem and the whole land of Palestine insh'allah and the establishment of the Islamic State throughout that area.“

It would be a little awkward to have the man who praised suicide bombers and called for the destruction of the Jewish State on the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council.

But no doubt a way could be found to finesse the problem.

Siddiqi is still a prominent figure in ISNA. The Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council is a sick sad joke in which Jewish lefties ally with Jihadists against a pro-Israel administration while claiming that they share goals.

Which goals exactly does the American Jewish Committee share with Siddiqi? Is the AJC also anticipating the creation of an Islamic State in Jerusalem?

Instead of representing the needs of the Jewish community, the AJC has dived into the left-wing gutter, wailing against Trump and making alliances with the enemy to protect them from Trump.

Heading up the AJC’s effort is Robert Silverman. Silverman is a State Department veteran with plenty of experience in the Muslim world. From the start he seemed far more intent on agitating on behalf of Muslims and against the critics of Islam than for Jews.

His pitch to Jews was collaborate now and perhaps our new Muslim overlords will be grateful.

“Showing support at this critical time will lead to good results for the Jewish people down the road,” Silverman said. It didn’t work with Mohammed or in Israel or Europe. But it’s bound to work this time.

He warned American Jews not to complain about the risk of Muslim migration. “American Jews should be careful not to add to a climate of fear that exists in our country regarding immigrants.”

The joint group will, among other things, lobby for refugees. The remaining Jewish refugees are fleeing Muslim violence and hate in Europe. If America is swamped by Muslim migrants the way Europe was, where will American Jews flee all these “refugees” to?

Meanwhile Silverman retweeted a message of approval from Glenn Greenwald who had criticized the inclusion of Hamas and Hezbollah on the terror list and described them as being “dedicated to protecting their citizens against the State of Israel.” He complained, “and yet it is criminal in the United States to do anything that is deemed to be material support for Hamas and Hezbollah."

Greenwald had also spoken of “the role Judaism plays in the decades-long oppression by the Israelis of Palestinians.”

Instead of fighting anti-Semitism, the American Jewish Committee was allying with anti-Semites.

While Muslim hate groups supported by ISNA terrorize Jewish students on campuses, the AJC expressed concern about “hate” against Muslims on campuses.

The media and left-wing groups are bombarding Jews daily with alarmist warnings about Trump while urging them to ally with our Muslim “friends”. Here’s what an alliance with those friends looks like.

Left-wing groups like the AJC have sold out the Jewish community by taking the side of Muslims over their Jewish victims. They have allied with Islamic hate groups supportive not of Jews, but of the murder of Jews.

And now they are screaming their heads off about Donald Trump.

Their Muslim friends, whether it’s Keith Ellison or ISNA, have defended anti-Semitism and attacked the Jewish State. American Jews have a choice between trying to appease Hamas or fighting against it.

The AJC has chosen its side. It has sided with the financiers and inciters of the murder of Jews.

American Jews have a simple choice to make. They can either believe the lies or hear the truth. They can either side with their killers or resist.

The AJC has made the choice very clear and simple. It’s either Hamas or Donald Trump.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Immigration Can Kill the Democrat Party

By On December 09, 2016
The specter of identity politics is haunting the left. It shows up at teary-eyed election parties in Berkeley, debates over craft beers in Williamsburg and the editorial pages of the big opinion shaper papers.

No less an icon of the left than Bernie Sanders has been grumbling that his movement needs to reconnect with working people again. He even tentatively denounced identity politics. “It is not good enough for somebody to say, ‘I’m a woman, vote for me.’” Bernie bears a grudge. That’s obvious. But the old Socialist has a history of spouting the old Socialist working class denunciations of immigration.

Bernie is really arguing that the Democrats ought to emphasize class more and race less. Similar left-wing squeaks have popped up in a handful of editorials. But they aren’t likely to travel very far.

The Democrats are losing the Rust Belt, just like they lost the South, because they have become an urban political machine. Identity politics is just urban organizing with a lot of left-wing lipstick on top. Bernie’s state is 95% white. Even Burlington hovers somewhere in the high eighties. Bernie can only organize around class because a coalition of minorities wouldn’t get him to the nearest post office.

Identity politics beat Bernie in the Democratic primaries. But it might have cost Hillary the election. And now Trump is in a position to end the Democrats by cutting their immigration lifeline. The Dems have burned their bridges with the working class by gambling everything that they have on demographic change. If they change doesn’t materialize, then they are trapped at the dead end of a short alley.

That’s the big problem the Democrats face. Identity politics with its hysterical outbursts of rage and specialized vocabulary of victimhood (privilege, victim-blaming, microaggressions) is toxic nationally, but dominates the academic and big city political populations that are its base. The Obama coalitions of millennial college leftists and disaffected minorities are passion voters whose turnout is unreliable and when they don’t turn out, then the aspirations of the Dems become sand castles with a storm coming in.

Democrats went into this election convinced that the tide of demographic change was on their side. That tide depends heavily on immigration. If Trump secures the border, deports illegal aliens and revamps immigration to serve national interests, then the Democrats lose their demographic future.

And they realize it. They’ve gambled their political future on immigration. If immigration can’t deliver the demographic changes that the left touted, then they will become a minority party.

The left used to oppose immigration. The Socialist Party inveighed against, "the immigration of strikebreakers and contract laborers, and the mass importation of workers from foreign countries brought about by the employing classes for the purpose of weakening the organization of American labor, and lowering the standard of life of American workers.”

But the left shifted away from working class regions and toward urban areas. Its political organizing was no longer based on experiences rallying coal miners or fruit pickers, but bullying college students. Identity politics was ideal for big campuses where identity coalitions were even more powerful than in big cities. Voter turnout is laughably light. Those who do vote are more likely to carry political agendas.

Under Obama, campus politics went national. The Dems made the final shift from class to culture war. When Hillary first ran for the White House, she could juggle the traditional three races appeal. This time around she had to incoherently appeal to a bewildering range of angry identity groups.

The Obama coalition ran on passion politics. The minority half of the coalition needed someone representative. The campus half wanted hip inspiration. Hillary Clinton couldn’t deliver either one.

But the lessons of her defeat aren’t lost on Democrats aspiring to higher office. Paying lip service to diversity is no longer enough. The only way to ensure minority turnout in national elections might be to have a minority politician at the top of the ticket. The future would belong to the Obama clones.

Bernie certainly understands the implications of that even if some Democrats don’t. He could very well be the last white male with a serious shot of entering the White House as a Democrat. And he’s strongly hinting that he would like to run again in 2020. That’s why he has to question identity politics.

Class over race means Bernie could still become the Dem nominee. Race over class could lock him out.

That’s also why Obama has reassured Dems that identity politics will eventually pay off, even if there might be the occasional setback along the way. Nevertheless the country will still be transformed. Bernie however has questioned whether a permanent Democratic majority would even be possible.

Without the prospect of a permanent majority through mass migration on the horizon, the Democrats have to consider abandoning identity politics and returning to tried and true class warfare.

But a retreat from identity politics may not even be possible.

Intersectionality is worlds away from the old racial pandering. The culture of identity outrage dominates left-wing messaging. The opposition to Trump leans heavily on victim politics rather than class. We are incessantly lectured on all the Muslim and illegal alien kiddies who go to bed crying because of him. This performance of passive aggressive victimhood has only disgusted even more of the country.

Identity politics is tethered to outrage and therefore is inherently unstable and alienating. It’s based on a subjective experience that is deemed inaccessible to those with more “privilege” and yet it is an experience whose emotional outcomes are meant to govern our lives. It’s a selfishly anti-intellectual creed that cannot be reasoned with because it derives from the recesses of personal emotion.

It’s not an intellectual exercise, but a performance of personal suffering and outrage. And there’s no way around it without jettisoning the crust of political correctness that makes victimhood sacred. Those who suffer the most are morally superior. Their whims and wishes must dominate the Dem agenda.

An older left could have made a compelling case for the victimhood of the unemployed coal miner, but no such creature exists in campus politics where there are 63 gender identities, but no white working class. The left has defined victimhood as the alienation experienced by those who are different. There is no room for oppressed majorities, only minorities. An ideology that once defined itself by labor is far more interested in charting the erratic emotions of unstable college kids than in the real problems of working people. It can relate to the former, but not the latter.

Democrats have to choose between identity politics and the working class. Abandoning identity politics would be a painful process while abandoning the working class has proven to be painless and disastrous. But identity politics without mass migration and social transformation is unworkable. Immigration determines the future of the Democrats. This election is forcing Democrats to make a choice.

Obama’s identity politics preached that Republicans had to embrace identity politics or lose their ability to win national elections. But if the Democrats can’t sustain the rate of demographic change that they need, their lost grip on the working class white vote may lock them out of the White House.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

A Date That Will Live Forever in Infamy

By On December 07, 2016
Naval Base Bombed, Shinto Worshipers Fear Backlash - New York Times - December 8 1941

A day after planes passed over their peaceful village on the way to attack the Naval Station at Pearl Harbor, local fishermen are still picking up the pieces.

"I don't know what any of this is about," a man who would only give his name as Paji said, holding the remains of a net which he had used to earn a living. "All I know is that the killing has to stop."

In Washington, government officials urged the public to stay calm and not to jump to any conclusions warning that such reactions might play into the hands of the militant extremists responsible for the attack.

Early copies of President Roosevelt's upcoming speech to Congress likewise warn the American public of the dangers of overreaction.

"We are not at war with Japan," it says. "We are at war with a tiny handful of extremists who are attempting to drag the Japanese people into a conflict. But we must keep a cool head and not allow them to win by provoking a war. We will defeat this enemy, but we will do it by not fighting them."

A profile has emerged of at least one of these attackers. Hideki Nakamura, a graduate of Harvard and a talented oboe player, was shot down and captured. Nothing in his background, which included playing for the Harvard squash team, would have caused anyone to conclude that he was capable of such a thing.

KATANA, a local civil rights organization partly funded by Japan's war propaganda office, has warned that American foreign policy is responsible for the radicalization of such young men like Nakamura.

"What made this man hate America so much that he wanted to bomb it?" a spokeswoman for KATANA asked. "How did America fail him? And how can we win him back?"

Nakamura's guards have said that the pilot is soft-spoken and has pleasant manners, but that he becomes vocally exercised over the American embargo of Japan and the refusal of many universities to install rice paper doors in dormitories.

"Detaining Nakamura only inspires others to imitate him," KATANA said, suggesting that he instead be released back to Japan where the government is running an anti-extremism program at the Strategic Institute of War that claims to be able to deprogram extremists with a 97% success rate.

Unfortunately the program, dubbed KAMIKAZE, is unable to accommodate all potential extremists without additional foreign aid funding from the United States government.

"It's cheap for us to spend 3 million dollars fighting Japanese extremism by funding Kamikaze instead of spending 30 million on national defense," Senator Earl Hawkins said. "Studies show that one of the leading causes of anti-American sentiments is unemployment. KAMIKAZE is tackling that."

Foreign policy experts at the Center for American Progress warned that the so-called Pearl Harbor event was the product of decades of American expansionism.

"It's easy for the flag-waving jingoist in the stockyards to rave about the Japs, but this attack did not occur in a vacuum," Lester Gore-Vinton said. "Look at Commodore Perry's globalization venture and the Philippines War and our ill-advised intervention in the Russian Revolution. This is blowback."

At impromptu peace rallies in New York City's Union Square and San Francisco's Union Square, speakers called for the government to explore all options for peace. Many pointed out that more Americans die every year of shingles than were killed at Pearl Harbor.

"The United States is allied with Great Britain. We have been aiding the Western occupation of Asia," Earl Gorber of Working People Want Peace and a Living Wage Now said. "The only amazing thing is that it took this long to happen. As long as the United States continues propping up the reactionary imperialists of Great Britain against the progressive movements of the German and Japanese vanguard of the working class, attacks like these will come again and again." 

Some were skeptical that Japan had even been behind the attack.

"Anyone can paint insignia on a plane and drop some smoke bombs. That's all we've seen on these photos," Martha Gabbitz exclaimed. "There hasn't even been a declaration of war.  We don't have a single piece of undeniable proof that there was even an attack. All it takes is a week in a photo lab and the government can produce a picture of anything."

Meanwhile at Shinto temples in Los Angeles, the mood was fearful and subdued. Worshipers refused to give their names worried about the consequences to their families.

"This is madness," an older gentleman studying detailed charts of the California coastline said. "One day you're an All-American entrepreneur studying submarine trade routes to America and the next day everyone is glaring at you no matter how many American flags you stick on your aerial poison gas balloon."

In San Francisco, the 109-year-old Rev. Francis Wheatley-Simpson, famous for protesting every war, including the Civil War, had already declared a hunger strike, even though no American forces were engaged in fighting.

"War is never the answer," Wheatley-Simpson said, as he had said about WW1, the Spanish-
American War, the Civil War and the French and Indian War. "Love is the answer. Violence never solves anything. America was not built on war. It will not survive through war."

"It doesn't matter what Japan did. There will be war," predicted Mason Johnson, author of War is a Farce That Forces Us to Fear. "We love war. We are obsessed with war. That's why we have a society with such rampant criminality. Our idea of masculinity is to use force on everything. Even our national symbols represent violation and patriarchy. If it isn't Japan, it will be someone else."

Meanwhile on a Topeka street, Barnard Stevenson, an 18-year-old lad blinked in confusion when asked about Pearl Harbor. He likewise could not name Hitler or Mussolini and had no idea where Europe was. He was however able to name the stars of Rocket Assault, the latest big film in which a dashing reporter must team up with the enemy to stop his own government from provoking a war with a false flag attack.

"Is this anything kind of like that?" he wondered when the Pearl Harbor attack was explained to him.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

5 Lessons for Republicans from Trump's Win

By On December 04, 2016
What can Republicans learn from Trump’s victory? The biggest lesson is that the old way of politics is dead. McCain and Romney showed that twice. Now Trump has shown how Republicans can actually win.

1. Find Your Natural Base

The GOP is ashamed of its base. It doesn’t like being associated with the very voters who made 2016 happen. Its autopsy last time around searched for ways to leave the white working class behind.

There’s a party that did that. Their symbol is a jackass. They just lost big because they ran out of working class white voters.

The Democrats have tried to manufacture their base using immigration, victimhood politics and identity politics. The GOP has wasted far too much time trying to compete on the same playing field while neglecting its base. Trump won by doing what the GOP could have done all along if its leadership hadn’t been too ashamed to talk to people it considered low class because they shop at WalMart.

The GOP wanted a better image. It cringed at Trump’s red caps and his rallies. And they worked.

Trump won because he found the neglected base of working class white voters who had been left behind. He didn’t care about looking uncool by courting them. Instead he threw himself into it.

That’s why McCain and Romney lost. It’s why Bush and Trump won.

The GOP is not the cool party. It’s never going to be. It’s the party of the people who have been shut out, stepped on and kicked around by the cool people. Trump understood that. The GOP didn’t.

The GOP’s urban elites would like to create an imaginary cool party that would be just like the Democrats, but with fiscally conservative principles. That party can’t and won’t exist.

You can run with the base you have. Or you can lose.

2. Media and Celebrities Don’t Matter

The first rule of Republican politics is to look in the mirror and ask, “Are we trying to be Democrats?”

Twice Obama’s big glittering machine of celebrities, media and memes rolled over hapless Republicans. Republican operatives desperately wondered how they could run against Oprah, Beyonce and BuzzFeed. How were they supposed to survive being mocked by Saturday Night Live and attacked by the media?

The answer was to find voters who weren’t making their decisions based on any of those things.

The GOP’s approach in the last few elections was to try and duplicate the Obama machine. These efforts were clumsy, awkward, expensive and stupid. The Obama machine was great at influencing its target electorate of urban and suburban millennial college grads because that’s who ran it and directed it. But that’s not the Republican base. And chasing it was a waste of time, money and energy.

Instead of trying to duplicate the Obama machine, the Trump campaign targeted a class of voters who didn’t care about those things. The white working class that turned out for Trump was a world away from the cultural obsessions of the urban elites who had traditionally shaped both sets of campaigns.

Romney wanted everyone to like him. Being rejected hurt him so much because he wanted to be accepted. Trump ran as an outsider. Being rejected by the establishment was a badge of pride. He couldn’t be humiliated by being mocked by the cool kids because he wasn’t trying to be accepted.

Asking, “Are we trying to be Democrats?” isn’t just for policy. It’s also something for Republicans to remember when Election Day comes around. The Republican base isn’t the Democrat base. When Republicans commit to pursuing their base, they can stop worrying about what Saturday Night Live, Samantha Bee and random celebrities think of them. And they can just be themselves.

The mediasphere matters most when you care about it. When you don’t and when you focus on voters who don’t either, then it ends up as weak and impotent as it did in this election.

3. Go Right Young Man

Hillary Clinton’s campaign with its efforts to appeal to Republicans was a master class in triangulation. The Clintons were radicals who wanted to appear moderate. In the final weeks, Hillary’s people got out their brushes and makeup kits and tried to make her over into a candidate anyone could vote for.

But triangulation doesn’t work anymore.

Even before Trump, Bernie Sanders nearly derailed her by running as an unapologetic leftist. Hillary Clinton borrowed much of the structure of the Obama campaign, but missed its biggest feature.

Obama was much closer to Bernie Sanders than to Bill Clinton. He promised to destroy coal jobs, defended wealth redistribution and turned “You didn’t build that” into his mantra. It was a long way from Hillary’s ultra-cautious campaign. And it worked. Obama’s left-wing base turned out for him.

Trump won by unapologetically going to the right and infuriating the left. And it also worked.

Hillary hired plenty of Obama’s people, but it was Trump who had truly learned the lesson of Obama’s victories. American elections are no longer won by going to the center. Some of the most endangered senators had been centrists. The Republican moderate strategy cost them two presidential elections.

The radical left has polarized the country. Chasing the center is a dead end. Instead you champion your base. You promise them everything they want. You make them love you. And you win.

Instead of retreating, you double down. It doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks of you. If your base loves you and will stand for hours waiting to hear from you, they will do that on Election Day.

It worked for Obama. It worked for Trump.

4. Money Doesn’t Matter

What do Krispy Kreme, Costco and Donald Trump have in common? They don’t advertise.

When you have a compelling enough product, then you don’t need to advertise. You will be talked about and the customers will want to know more about you.

You still need money to win presidential elections, but you need a lot less money than the consultants and experts would like you to think that you do. Trump spent a lot less than Hillary Clinton did.

Ad budgets have ballooned, but the impact of advertising in the age of the smartphone is shakier than ever. Ads for national candidates have far less impact than their public presence in the reality show of life. Far more Americans followed Hillary’s health crisis than watched all of her ads combined.

Trump was unafraid to benefit from gobs of media coverage. Even when it was mostly negative. Meanwhile Hillary avoided engaging with the media while spending a fortune on advertising. It was an expensive and outdated approach that didn’t work for her during the primaries or the general election.

The Trump campaign didn’t repeat Romney’s mistake of spending a fortune on consultants. Hillary Clinton did. It’s usually the unnatural candidate, the politician least comfortable in his own skin, who makes that mistake. Instead Trump spent money on the practicals, like the ground game, he paid more attention to local ads than to national ads. And he didn’t make the common mistake of believing he could buy the election. It’s not how he had won the nomination. It’s not how he won the election.

5. Controversy Works

Trump’s campaign was declared dead more often than disco. None of the scandals worked. None of the outrage stopped him. Instead it helped him win. Every downturn in the polls preceded another upturn.

If you’re running as a consensus candidate, a scandal can destroy you. But if you’re running against the system, then scandals only make you stronger. Each attack on Trump gave him credibility. It defined him as a politician who wasn’t part of the system. And none of Trump’s critics understood that by attacking him they were only helping him win. They couldn’t stop this compulsive behavior even when it didn’t work. Surely the next scandal was the one that would finally and permanently do Trump in.

Even now they’re still thinking that way.

Traditional campaigns are run by professionals who see their job as avoiding controversy. Candidates are schooled not to offend anyone. But if you don’t offend anyone, you also don’t inspire anyone.

Inspiration without controversy is a fridge magnet. In politics to inspire, you must be controversial.

Controversy made Trump a national and then an international figure. The more an establishment attacked him, the more he was seen as a savior by its enemies. Controversy, more than anything else, made him a change candidate. Trump wasn’t Teflon. He didn’t survive attacks the way Bill Clinton did. Instead he thrived on them until he became the voice of millions of angry Americans.

Controversy isn’t something to be feared. It’s something to be embraced.



In the years ahead, consultants and experts will insist that Trump’s campaign was a fluke that nothing can be learned from. They will argue that the old failed way of politics is best. But the old way of politics is dead. The future belongs to Republicans who listen to their base instead of their consultants.

The future belongs to Republicans who care more about what their supporters think of them than what the media does.

(This article first appeared as "5 Ways Trump Shows How to Win Elections" at Front Page Magazine.)

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